Chamber Holds Ninth YEA! Class


The Bellevue Chamber wrapped up its ninth Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), a four-week program that teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own real businesses and social movements.

The all-virtual class was attended by middle and high school students from Bellevue, Seattle, and even Texas. Through the program, students learn the essential elements to start a business from ideation, creating a business plan, and pitching to their idea to investors.

Local business leaders judged the students start-up presentations and awarded a small amount of startup funds to each of the student CEOs. Ayana Lopez-Vacin, CEO of Zibla’s Empire, will represent the Bellevue Chamber YEA! class at the Saunders Scholars Semi Final national competition in Rochester, New York next June.

The judges included Dave Parker, tech entrepreneur and author of recently released book Trajectory: Startups; Barney Silver, VP Finance & Operations for BitTitan; Kari Marino, Real Estate Manager for Verizon and Christine Liu, SVP and Commercial Banking Relationship manager for Columbia Bank.

The next YEA! class will begin in January.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. To learn more about Bellevue Chamber’s YEA! chapter click here.